• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast two extracts from the novel The Color Purple

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast two extracts from the novel The Color Purple The novel 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker is set between 1904 and 1940 in rural Georgia, and traces the life of Celie, a southern black woman, emphasising the hardships and joys which black women experienced in a patricidal society. Through her diary and letters of correspondence which reflect an American slave narrative, the reader sees her growth from a meek emotionally isolated child living in a strong male dominated society to an independent spiritual woman, who has an capacity to express emotion fluently to those around her. The first extract1 (pg. 3) to be considered is, the first letter which Celie writes as an act of faith, through which we are introduced to the protagonist, a fourteen year old black girl. The second extract2 considered (pg.175) details the rejection of Albert, Celie's husband, and illustrates to the reader the emotion, physical and spiritual development which takes place throughout the entire text. In the first extract, Alice Walker portrays the character of Celie through the style and language in which the extract is written. In contrast to many other black American novels which adopt rich prose, The Color Purple, is marked by dialect features which keenly reflects Celie's status as a uneducated black girl in a time when society was dominated by males figures. ...read more.


During the second extract, Celie confronts Albert about his obsessive treatment of her and the hiding of Nettie's letters, as well as to tell him of her plans to go with Shug and start a new life'. In contrast to the first extract in which she adopts a purely passive narrative voice, Celie is now able to articulate her emotions fluently to those around her. She does this through the coarse language and tone yet still retaining the uncomplicated narrator role; ' The jail you plan for me is the one in which you will rot, I say'. This is in vast contrast to the feeling of childhood innocence, found in the first extract, for now she expresses strong negative emotions. As a product of this, she losses the brief immediacy which Walker used to instil pathos in the reader, however her dialogue contains a number of effective statements and rebuttals, which makes the reader side with Celie. 'Any more letters come? I ast. He say, What? You heard me, I say. Any more letters from Nettie come?.' This new-founded conviction and ability to initiate conversation illustrates her inner strength and belief in herself to challenge others, thus in the eyes of the reader, she now appears equal to that of Albert as she openly confronts him. ...read more.


Goddam, he say, you nothing at all ' Both men see women as objects without emotions, alluding to the idea of slaves. In the case of Albert, his contempt for women obstructs his awareness of the true person (Celie) he married. It is only after he losses her during the second extract, does he realise a woman's importance in life, and how dependant men are on them. It must be noted however, that to a certain extent there exist female characters within both extracts, namely Celie's mother and Shug, which are able to assert some control over the male figure. In conclusion, the two extracts represent different stages within the emotion and spiritual development of the protagonist, Celie. From a young na�ve southern black girl she matures to independent, emotionally fluent woman capable of functioning freely within a male dominated society. In doing show, Alice Walker provides the reader with a stark image concerning the hostility and dominance of the male society over women during the time. 1 First extract - 'Dear God, I am fourteen years old ... But too sick to last' 2 Second extract - ' Dear Nettie, Well you know ... Amen, say Shug. Amen, amen' 3 Towards the end of the novel after the second extract Albert's views on women do change. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Alice Walker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Alice Walker essays

  1. The differences between the novel by Alice Walker, "The Color Purple" and the film ...

    They approached Alice Walker who at first didn�t agree with the thought of someone else telling her story. But after meeting Quincy Jones who was entitled to be the executive producer she agreed and signed a contract. The reason for her giving in was the trust in Quincy Jones: "And

  2. Comment on the growth of Celie's character throughout The Color Purple.

    American law, governed by middle-class, middle-aged, white men, made no attempt to protect or enforce the rights of poor black girls such as Celie. At this point in the novel Celie is seen as nothing more than a substandard possession.

  1. 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker shocks us with rape and violence.

    We only see that they are capable of loving after the women leave them. We see that the loving side of Harpo. Celie asks him if he minds Sofia working and Harpo replies 'what I'm gon mind for? He says.

  2. Compare how each writer presents Black women's struggles in 'The Color Purple' and 'I ...

    When Ritie goes to stay with him, he pits his girlfriend, Dolores against his daughter. This shows Daddy Bailey's insensitivities and inability as a father and a boyfriend. Other female characters also struggle against the patriarchy in their own culture.

  1. Examine Walker's narrative techniques in The Color Purple including consideration of the use of ...

    As almost all of her letters are written in the present tense, we have the same level of knowledge about her current life as she does. We have a huge amount of insight into her thoughts because of her exposing letters.

  2. An Analysis of Daughters of the Dust and The Color Purple using Black Feminist ...

    This statement has been taken up as a basis for contemporary black feminist thought and critical evaluation. The final contributor to black feminist thought that I will discuss is Alice Walker, who also considered traditional feminism to be too bourgeois, middle-class and academic.

  1. The impact of 'The Color Purple' is emotional rather than intellectual and this exemplifies ...

    as the medium for empowerment is a central concern in the novel.' This type of intellectual pursuit for the female characters seems to triumph over the oppressive male ones, especially as 'the female characters, denied access to education and other forms of learning and communication' (Lizbeth Goodman).

  2. The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character.

    And your dead body just the welcome mat I need." (207) Her tone in articulating this statement was clearly not timid. On the contrary, it was exceptionally vindictive. A spiteful tone was again emitted by Celie when, in response to Mr.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work